CREATIONISM: Not public school issue
Having just read the letter “SCHOOLS: Offer Creation as Choice,” I felt compelled to reply. Mr. Vieselmeyer correctly points out that the phrase “separation of church and state” does not appear verbatim anywhere in the US Constitution; neither do the words God, Christ, Jesus, Savior, Mohamed, Buddha, or any other religious reference.
The “wall of separation between church and state” can be attributed to Thomas Jefferson and Virginia’s Act for Establishing Religious Freedom. Its essence of freedom of religion and freedom from religion is incorporated into the 1st Amendment which is part of our Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” While the literal phrase is lacking, the concept of separation of church and state IS in our Constitution and has been upheld numerous times, not by “liberal judges, attorneys, and law professors,” as Mr. Vieselmeyer contests, but by the Supreme Court of the United States. Keeping the government out of church affairs and vice versa is paramount in protecting against religious intolerance, bloodshed, and tyranny.
I do agree with Mr. Vieselmeyer that parents should be more involved in school topics and given more choice. However, when calls for teaching creation “science” in our public schools are made, I have to ask: Whose creation “science” is going to be taught? All of them? Do we give biology and geology equal time with Judeo-Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Rastafarian, Scientology, and Wicca beliefs? Or is the essence of what Mr. Vieselmeyer is suggesting is to teach a single religious view in our public schools?
If so, that’s a very slippery slope and would violate my children’s 1st Amendment rights. Creationism is a set of religious beliefs, not science. It is best taught in one’s own house of worship by religious scholars rather than in public schools.
In the words of Billy Graham: “I think that we have made a mistake by thinking the Bible is a scientific book. The Bible is not a book of science. The Bible is a book of Redemption.” If you want your children to learn creationism, take them to church, synagogue, temple, etc. but don’t insist on teaching religious ideology (of any kind) in public schools. Leave that to the Taliban and the Iranians.
Fortunately, it is still unconstitutional here in the USA.